Event Guide

The world’s most scenic triathlon

Welcome to the world’s most scenic Triathlon Festival, set against the lake and mountain backdrop of Mount Aspiring National Park in New Zealand’s South Island.

Described by athletes as one of the best events on the international circuit, Challenge Wanaka’s terrain, remoteness and honesty of the course makes it one of the most memorable. The physical and mental challenges will push athletes to their limits but the enthusiasm and warm Kiwi welcome of the local supporters is second to none with the resulting atmosphere getting even the most tired competitor across the line.

Challenge Wanaka is the flagship event of a multi-day triathlon festival that celebrates the world’s #1 fastest-growing sport. In addition, there’s the Aquabike, Cross Trithlon and Duathlon, the Intermediate, Secondary Schools and Junior Challenge and the Bay to Bay Swim for those wanting to get a taste of the atmosphere in the days before the main event.

As an athlete it is essential you are prepared for this very special event. It is a middle distance race with an ‘adventure edge’ and there are several compulsory elements that you may not encounter at other events. Our aim is to deliver an experience at Challenge Wanaka that is both safe and memorable for you. We can’t do much about the sore muscles and joints as you run up the finish chute, but we will ensure you are safe on the course at all times.

The weather in Lake Wanaka in February is stunning, and an average day is 26-28 C with clear blue skies and light winds. It is however an alpine environment so athletes must be prepared for all eventualities.

Event Timetable

The latest event timetable can be found here.

We recommend downloading the Challenge App to view the most up to date timetable for the week’s events or you will be able to download the timetable here closer to the time.

Race App

We recommend you download the Challenge Wanaka App prior to the event for the most up to date information.

Race Handbook

All participants will be sent a race handbook prior to the event which will contain all important information regarding the event.

Road Closures & Parking

Road Closures 2023

Wanaka-Mt Aspiring Road: Closed from Motatapu Road to Hospital Flat Thursday 16 February 12pm-4pm

Motatapu Road: Closed from Wanaka-Mt Aspiring Road for 2.5km Thursday 16 February 1pm-4pm

Sections of Ardmore Street, Wanaka – Mt Aspiring Road and Mc Dougal streets to be closed for the Friday night event. Road closures in place on Friday 17 February from approximately 1300 – 2200

Motatapu Road: Full road closure Saturday 18 February 9am-4pm

Luggate Bridge is closed, detour to Tarras during this time through Hawea or Cromwell Saturday 18 February 8.15am – 12.00pm 

Car Parking

Plenty of car parking will be available in the paddock on the left after the Glendhu Bay Campground.  Please follow all signage and instructions from our traffic management staff.


Event registration takes place at Race HQ located at the Woolshed, Glendhu Station. Times can be found in the Event Timetable on the App.

You will receive your race pack, information, sponsors gifts, food and drink vouchers and recovery bag.

What to bring

Please bring some photo identification – you will not be able to register without it. Passport or drivers licence is preferable.

To compete in Challenge Wanaka we require a signed acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of competing in the event. This will need to be completed at registration by every athlete.

What else to expect.

To ensure maximum equipment safety during Challenge Wanaka, only registered competitors may access secure areas to collect gear bags, bikes etc. If you are unable to collect your gear post race your support person must bring your wrist band and race number to the Transition area and check in with security.

Make sure you and your family and friends download the Challenge Wanaka App to get all the latest details, information, course maps, race manuals and live athlete data over the Festival.  Available on Google Play and Apple iStore.